Will Argueta

Photo by Will Argueta

Too close for comfort: Toxicity of Black Love

February 21, 2022

Black love is not something that just came out, it is a necessity in the community. More than just an important part of Black history, it’s a love for our ancestors because love was all they had. Not just love with a significant other, but also love within family structures.

As we celebrate Black history, I wanted to recognize the importance of Black love.

I remember hearing stories from my grandparents about when slavery first began. Slave owners would sepearate female and male slaves, but the owners soon realized that would give them more bodies by forcing slaves to produce children.

From a young age, I constantly watched movies depicting Black love like “Love & Basketball” and “Love Jones,” and I always wanted that for my family. As a Black woman I wanted so badly to love a Black man, because looking around me I wanted my children to grow up in a pro-Black household. I understand now that looking at Black love from that perspective is extremely toxic.

Love is not based on ethnicity. I have been through a lot in the name of trying to love a Black man. Especially during the incident with George Floyd, I felt as though I needed to be a shoulder to lean on for my significant other, as the world was against Black men. However, the summer of 2020 was one of the worst times in my life.

I was isolated from society due to my relationship, and the world was not on my side. I had become codependent on this person and my life was a living hell. I was being mentally, physically and emotionally abused by a person I thought I loved. This was not a good time in my life both mentally and physically. I was exhausted. I was at my lowest and journaling became a center for healing.

I found that oftentimes the Black men in my life didn’t treat me with respect. Now this does not mean that Black men are horrible people and don’t deserve to experience love. But what it does mean is that me choosing to date only Black men in the name of love has not worked in my favor.

I am a giver at heart, and as a Black woman in society I do not experience the same luxuries I have given others. What I want others to take away from this is to not limit yourself based on what you think is culturally acceptable. Love who you want to love: if you choose Black love that’s okay, but don’t do it just for the sake of the term.

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